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UPSes Dieing all over the place

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by mfackler, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. mfackler

    mfackler

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    We had a strange thing happened with our UPS last week. When I got to work on Sunday I had a note telling me one of our UPS had went belly up. Didn’t think much of it this particular one was old and I was sure it needed a new battery. (Don’t believe it had ever been replaced and we had changed others.) Anyway I recommended a new battery or a new UPS (New UPS in particular) and went on about my business. This AM I got a call from my Chief (Oh yea, BTW I am a firefighter taking care of the FD network) his supervisor advised they had lost 2 or 3 UPS on there side of the building at about the same time. The death of these too was not completely unexpected; they were a year or two old. The 2 networks are completely separate except of course for the building power. We have recently installed a new emergency generator and have had electricians in the building installing new lights. None of our other UPSes have been affected.

    I normally don’t believe in coincidence but this one has got me. Can anyone think of anything besides coincidence that may have caused this?

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  2. pizzaaguy

    pizzaaguy

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    Power spikes or low voltage...

    We had two printers go in two days along with a server.
    The UPS was spiking.

    We're a new installation in a brand new building.
     

  3. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    A live test of the new emergency generator could have screwed up the UPS's circuitry. Are the ones having problems all on the same circuit?

    Were they all under load when the genny was brought online? I am sure (at least I HOPE!!) they didn't just install it and walk away without an initial test!

    The closer a UPS's running load is to its max rating when the lights go out, the more strain it will be under. That much is obvious...

    But with a generator, there are usually several spikes in a short period of time, as well as a few dropoffs in both the amperage and the voltage of the current that is supplied. These are your UPS killers.

    Especially if they were $40 Staples Specials. Those ought to be replaced yearly if they see any real usage at all.
     
  4. Ragin Cajun

    Ragin Cajun

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    Most UPS's do NOT like to run on genertors. The slight frequency variation causes them to constantly switch on/off the battery. It depends on the UPS and the generator. That could have fried them.

    If you will be actually using your UPS's on the generator get ones that can handle the frequency variations. APC has them.

    Also, it's a very good idea to unplug and run the UPS under load on battery every so often (3-4 mo) until the low voltage alarm. Just be sure your computer is ready for power off or you have some other load on the UPS in case the UPS fails.